EDITION: June - August 2010


Cat Weisweiller

As a group of sole traders introduce a pop-up jewelry boutique to Ibiza, we pay timely homage to the ever growing phenomenon of pop-up retail as a whole.

Sia Taylor, Cyd (Joy Jewellery), Shakti Ellenwood, Kerstin Howard y Natasha Collis

Enjoying the considerable advantages of flexibility, variety and cost effectiveness, pop-up retail is the given name for outlets that “pop-up” one moment and disappear the next. Pop-up retail had its first wave of public recognition around 2004, predominantly in the UK and USA. Shops started the trend; from major brands like “Toys R Us” and “Gucci” using pop-up outlets to boost sales. Car firms followed suit, setting up pop-up expos designed to tease consumers with the ever effective “buy now before it’s too late” routine. Then charities, like Barnados, hopped on the band wagon, using temporarily empty properties, to set up affordable pop-up shops. Local authorities everywhere praised this new form of retail as being an ideal opportunity to keep the high streets buzzing, whilst disguising lifeless empty spaces.

In some incarnations, the pop-up phenomenon appeals to both our residual childhood love of fantasy and recycling aspirations; pop-up nightclubs soon started materialising, most notably one in Sydney harbour, made out of shipping containers. Then came pop-up restaurants like “Bistroteque” in the East End of London; where people would flock with great anticipation to a disused warehouse that had been masterfully transformed into a candle-lit alpine winter wonderland. A Santa Claus grotto for adults if you will. The fleeting existence of these ventures meant that they were rammed from day one, having successfully awakened our stanch consumer need not to miss out, otherwise known as the “urgency to participate” principle. Even celebrities have embraced the pop-up restaurant culture; liberated divorcee, Jo Woods, intermittently serves up an organic feast called “Mrs Paisley’s Lashings” at her house. Effectively converting her home into a shrine to organic food rather then the Rolling Stones, good on her. A pop-up hair salon inevitably named: “Hair today, gone tomorrow” is bound to be next!

Some would argue that this style of temporary retail has already existed for centuries in the form of market stalls, roadside stands and soukhs worldwide. Surely, anyone temporarily proffering their wares, from fresh cut flowers to hot dogs to most anything, without the stress of overheads or being tied to fixed sites, is qualified to call them self a pop-up entrepreneur? In which case, Ibiza’s renowned hippy markets and beach sellers go a long way to highlighting the island’s unswerving knack of keeping up with the trends.

Whatever the true origin of pop-up retail, it is the recent credit crunch that made it a powerful buzz term again. Why should people commit themselves to the financial pressure of long term venue hire when pop-ups successfully service a “throw away” society with an insatiable appetite for ever changing concepts and fast retail anyway?

Taking the pop-up theme a stage further here in Ibiza, PURE FORM is a formidable troop of resident jewelers: Natasha Collis, Shakti Ellenwood, Kerstin Howard, Cyd (Joy Jewellery) and Sia Taylor. This group of sole traders are exemplary in their decision to collaborate rather then compete; a canny ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ success formula that also gives the end user more choice.

The only similarity across their work being, that it is all hand made here in Ibiza. Together, they pool resources, ideas and time; generating an inspiring balance of creative proactivity steeped in camaraderie. The outcome of their shared efforts being a pop-up jewelry boutique; a mobile display of all five jeweler’s work, co-marketed, with equal enthusiasm, by each of them.

This new incentive is designed predominantly with their existing high end clientele in mind; an enviable list that includes Jack Nicholson, Kate Moss, Chrissie Hynde and Ruby Wax. Many of these types, hidden away in luxury -villas, would willingly shun the horror of conspicuous high street shopping in favour of a bespoke, discreet, convenient buying experience in the privacy of their own homes.

That said, with prices ranging from 60 to 6,000 Euro a piece, PURE FORM will also be holding public pop-up jewelry shows across the island. These evenings, held in elite bars and clubs, are free to enter and promise no pressure to buy; matching the hostess’ philosophy that no one should be excluded from enjoying a bit of luxury alongside simply celebrating an art form that PURE FORM holds very dear.

A balmy Ibizencan night in salubrious surroundings, drink in hand, drooling over opulent jewels; does not sound half bad to me… The first of these shows is to be held at Atzaró on the 1st July.

Texto: Cat Weisweiller